By Julie Tomascik
Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) members have the opportunity to find more affordable health care options for themselves and their families.
Information on the new Texas Farm Bureau Health Plans is available at www.tfbhealthplans.com or by calling 877-500-0140.
“Texas Farm Bureau has always been responsive to the needs of our members,” TFB President Russell Boening said. “We are proud to provide this option to our membership through Texas Farm Bureau Health Plans.”
The health plans include individual and family plans, as well as dental and vision coverage.
Each applicant will be individually rated based on their medical history. This can result in offering coverage for significantly less than can currently be found in the health care marketplace.
The plans feature many standard health benefits, including:
- office visits
- preventative, routine and wellness services
- outpatient and rehabilitative services
- lab work
- emergency room services
- maternity, newborn and pediatric care
- mental health and substance abuse counseling and treatment
- prescription drug benefits
- dental and vision coverage
Finding affordable health care is a challenge for TFB members, many of whom are self-employed as farmers or ranchers.
“Farmers, ranchers, those who work on farms, agribusiness owners and workers, rural entrepreneurs and those who are small employers have told us it is difficult to access or afford traditional health plans,” Si Cook, TFB executive director and chief operating officer, said. “This is a way to help our members, reduce uninsured Texans, support rural hospitals and make sure rural communities have access to the same standards and services as other parts of the state.”
TFB was established to serve its members and offering these health plans is another opportunity to do so, Cook said.
“With members in all 254 counties, we already have the organizational structure in place to support the sales and distribution of these plans,” Cook said. “The resources and structure of state Farm Bureaus across the nation have already proven this is a successful and viable model, and we know this can be a good option for TFB members who need alternative health care coverage other than what’s available to them today.”
The plans, which are a contractual agreement, are overseen by a third-party administrator and offer a grievance process equal to the process required by the Affordable Care Act. Any person feeling aggrieved may file a complaint with the Texas attorney general.
“It is important to note that TFB Health Plans are not insurance and that coverage through our plans is only offered to members of our organization,” Cook said. “Creating TFB Health Plans was a team effort within the Farm Bureau family. It took a lot of hard work and determination, and we are proud of the results.”
A bill, HB 3924, allowing TFB to use its statewide infrastructure to provide health plans to members was approved by the Texas Legislature last year. There were several lawmakers in support of the bill, showing the Legislature recognized the need for more options.
For more information on the health plans and to receive a quote, visit www.tfbhealthplans.com or call 877-500-0140.